Top Five Reasons We Hunt

Rick is home from 10 days straight of hunting in the Uncompahgre national forest, north of the San Juan mountains with his uncle.  When he planned this trip, I sort of imagined that since I’d be alone in the evenings, after the kids went to bed, I’d have plenty of quiet, uninterrupted time to sit and write blog posts.  Boy was I wrong.  By the time I got dinner made (and to tell the truth I ordered both a pizza and Chinese take-out this week), got the boys in bed and the dishes done each night, I was wiped out.  I played single mom to three kids, and I don’t know how the military wives and real single mothers do it.  Hats off to all of you!

I had started this post before Rick left, and since this trip concludes four straight weekends of hunting for our family, I had planned to do some hunting themed posts.  I wanted to give updates on Rick’s trip as it happened, our hopes for the year’s meat and what strategies he used on the mountain.  But in all honesty I didn’t have the gumption to get on the computer and type.

Now that Rick’s home, I hope to get back on track.  You might even get some hunting morsels here and there as we process the game this week, if I can organize my thoughts to type it.  In the mean time, here are the top five reasons (in no particular order) our family chooses game meat.

  1. Sustainability.  In comparison to conventionally raised meat, wild game and the way it is harvested has very little impact on the earth.  You don’t get venison or elk from a CAFO.  Game is not polluting the land and waterways.  It is unlawful to hunt with lead bullets, so there is not a concern of lead in the meat or on the land from hunters.  Of course, it uses some gasoline to get up in the mountains, and we use plastic and paper or aluminum foil to package the meat in the freezer, but all of this is pretty much nothing compared to what it takes in those resources to get the same amount of commercially raised meat.
  2. Health.  Game meat is lean and high in protein.  It is antibiotic and hormone free.  It’s organic and needs no certification.  We know where it came from, how it was processed, what went into the sausage.  Plus it’s tasty.
  3. Cost.  Where else can you get 400 – 600 pounds of organic, grass-fed meat for the cost of a license, a tank of gas and two .30/06 bullets?  We can eat very well for a year from one successful hunting trip.  Butchering the meat ourselves saves us even more, and we get the cuts we want.
  4. Tradition.  Rick and his brothers were taught to hunt by his grandfather and his uncles.  He learned how to walk in the woods.  How to track a deer.  How to handle is gun safely.  How to shoot an animal so he wouldn’t ruin the meat.  How to skin it and butcher it.  And he is teaching these things to his own sons.
  5. Connection.  With the animal we’re consuming, the food chain, the earth, our creator, and each other. When we hike in the mountains, we feel a spiritual connection to the earth and God.  As we walk logging roads looking for Dusky grouse with our boys, or when they watch us cut an elk into steaks, they understand where our food comes from.  When Rick sits in a duck blind with his uncle or hikes a mountain with his brother, they grow closer. 

There are more reasons.  Rick would probably modify this list, but this is what is important to me.  Do you hunt?  Why or why not?  What value do you see in it?

Categories: Food, Hunting, Top 5 | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Top Five Reasons We Hunt

  1. agitatedangler

    Great post!

  2. Very well said. Hunting has definitely never been a part of my family’s tradition, but now that I’m homesteading I wish it had been.

  3. Great post. I, too, can only imagine the hard challenges being a single parent or defence partner would face…

    In terms of hunting, my husband is now learning to bowhunt, and perhaps in the next couple of years I will learn how to shoot too. The reasons you gave are similiar to why we want to learn about all aspects of hunting our own meat. He feels very strongly about being able to provide for his family in hard times, and I admire that in him.

  4. Great to have discovered this post! I have just finished a season of raising our own meat (pigs, chicken and beef) and doing a comparative on the costs for each. Buying organic feed this year was through the roof for the chickens and pigs although both were pastured and we have a veggie business which provides a lot of compost to add to the pens. In the end, our pastured cow was of course the cheapest as she requires no grain. We do our own hay from our fields and their is the cost of taking the time to do that, but otherwise the beef was cheap (if you don’t count the hours we had to spend getting her back from the neighbours as she was a fence jumper). Anyway – excited was I to find out that beef was the way to go until hunting season came along and I watched all these folks around me securing their protein for a minimal investment. You guys are the smartest of all!!! really really. I look forward to reading more from you.

  5. Hello. I just discovered your blog while searching for information about homesteading. I grew up in a large city and moved to a new state and environment. Since I have been in my new area, little by little we have experienced success with gardening, then joined a 4H group and enjoyed that experience, accidentally grew some”wild” pumpkins and now I have discovered my strong urge to improve our lives, financial state and grow our family in a positive ecofriendly manner. I am a new follower. I am sure that I will learn much from you. I would love for you to join me along my journey, and visit me @ I am going to share your wonderful post and blog with my readers. I hope to connect with you. Thank-you for sharing your experiences. We currently do not hunt but we are planning to start. Thank-you kindly!

  6. Maggie

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I have just had a heated back and forth with someone about this. They just couldn’t see how killing poor bambi was a good thing. I can’t imagine how it would be bad when compared to cafo meat. My husband just spent his first hunting season providing us with deer enough for the winter for sure. We have butchered 30 chickens+ 2 lambs and 2 deer. I just can’t support the meat industry anymore. It is next to impossible to get people to see the problems with it.

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